Crystal Serenity to receive face-lift

By Michael Coleman

One of cruise travel’s most luxurious vessels is scheduled for a face-lift.
Crystal Cruises will be spending more than $25 million this spring to keep its largest ship, Crystal Serenity, on the cutting edge of luxury style.

Some 400 expert technicians flown from around the world, working round the clock for just 14 days, are scheduled for the massive redesign of her 531 deluxe staterooms, penthouses and penthouses suites; retail centers; expansive outdoor pool deck and other design projects during a May 8-22 dry dock at Hamburg’s Blohm + Voss shipyard.

“In the past two years, we have invested well over $50 million in our ships,” says Gregg Michel, president, Crystal Cruises.  The line also operates the 922-passenger Crystal Symphony.

“Our guests can look forward to dazzling new spaces, which will serve as a stunning  backdrop to the incomparable service and choices that always characterizes a Crystal vacation.”     

Interior designer, Keith Rushbrook, principal at the Toronto-based II BY IV Design Associates, summarized the vision: “We wanted modern classic elegance.  We wanted Fifth Avenue — crème de la crème New York-inspired living and retail spaces that people love and look forward to spending time in.”

All of the ship’s deluxe outside staterooms, penthouses, and penthouse suites will sport new, floor-to-ceiling tufted headboards, bedside cabinets, wallpaper, sofas, curtains, pillows, and custom carpets in contemporary lines and classic stone, silk, velvet, leather, and crisp linen textures.  New modern lighting features and electronic “do not disturb” and doorbell system will allow guests greater personalization of their home-away-from-home. 

Serenity’s retail shops will receive a similar, sophisticated metamorphosis.  The Facets fine jewelry store will mirror a jewelry box, with mother-of-pearl feature wall, beveled chrome vitrines, and new, private sales area.  The Apropos boutique will become three-shops-in-one, with a flagship Christian Dior cosmetic/skincare area showcased amongst rich Zebrano wood and herringbone rosewood, arresting black-plum-magenta carpeting, and tufted leather seating.

Inspired by Symphony’s recent transformation, the Seahorse Pool teak deck will be refashioned with circular pod beds, plush sofa groups, and lounge chairs in a kaleidoscope of lime green, azure, and mango.

The corridors throughout the ship will be transformed with new, custom carpeting, inspiring artwork, and mood lighting.  Dramatic new lighting will also be installed in the Crystal Dining Room, as will new furniture on all stateroom verandahs.

Following the dry dock, Serenity will embark on a series of Baltic, North Cape and British Isles cruises before heading to the Mediterranean for late summer and fall.

Summit pegged for stylish makeover

By Michael Coleman

Celebrity Cruises’ 2,034-passenger Summit will begin 2012 with a bold new look having incorporated some of the most popular attributes found on the line’s newer ships.

Since 2008 the Celebrity fleet has expanded to 10 vessels with the addition of the much-heralded Solstice, Eclipse and Equinox. Now, fleet-mates like the 2001-built Summit will receive Solstice, Eclipse and Equinox-inspired makeovers.

Among the highlights: the coveted AquaClass, Celebrity’s soothing, spa-inspired veranda-category accommodations paired with the chic, Mediterranean-themed specialty restaurant “Blu’’; plus the addition of Qsine specialty restaurant and the hip Celebrity iLounge.

Celebrity has just completed a similar makeover on Constellation and will do so on Infinity later this year.

 “Based on the phenomenal response we’ve had from guests who have sailed on the Constellation, we’re eager to introduce the same new features — ranging from the Cellarmasters wine bar to our signature icy Martini Bar to our cool Café al Bacio and Gelateria,’’ said Celebrity’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan.

“We recognize that consumers’ vacation time is precious, which inspires us to do everything we can to make their vacation with Celebrity Cruises something that is truly different and better than anything they’ve experienced before.”
            


A Celebrity exclusive, Qsine, the novel restaurant introduced on Eclipse last year, and set to debut on Infinity, will be added to Summit. It’s the first restaurant at sea to present a menu and wine list on an iPad. Qsine features a selection of savory tapas and mezze served individually in custom-made frames, a trio of chilled soups delivered shot-style, and spring rolls served in springs. All are described in detail on the iPad-housed menu and wine list, which offers a full scan of wine labels, an interactive cocktail menu, and the ability for guests to enter tasting notes and e-mail their favorite wine selections.

Look for Summit to feature the Celebrity iLounge, the cruise industry’s first authorized Apple reseller, where guests can participate in Celebrity’s “iLearn” enrichment series; a new creperie, Bistro on Five; new verandas added to the ship’s spacious, luxurious Celebrity Suites.

The ship will receive new furniture, flat-screen TVs, upholstery, bedding and carpeting; look also for new oceanview and inside staterooms and an expanded collection of original, contemporary art.

Celebrity sails to Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Galapagos Islands. The line also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America.

Two new innovative ships, Silhouette in July 2011, and Reflection in fall 2012, will round out the fleet.

New-Look Regent Seven Seas Navigator debuts

The 490-guest Regent Seven Seas Navigator has received a multi-million facelift. Image courtesy of Regent.

By Michael Coleman

One of luxury cruise travel’s iconic vessels, Regent Seven Seas Navigator, has received a stem to stern makeover.

The 490-passenger ship, just a decade old, was both updated and upgraded during a 50-day transformation. Fleet-mates Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner, each 700-passengers, were refurbished last year.


Among the most luxurious ships afloat, the intimate, all-suite Navigator sports a sophisticated new décor with rich fabrics and furnishings, much like those found in an elegant estate home. 

“The makeover gives the ship a stunning new look and feel,” said Mark Conroy, the line’s president.

Among the highlights:


Prime 7 — a new restaurant — features a rich palette of green and gold, with supple leather seating, granite and burnished woods. The menu features prime-aged steaks and chops as well as poultry and fresh seafood.



Compass Rose — the ship’s main dining room — has undergone a dramatic update with new window treatments, carpets and plush cranberry and camel armchairs. New signature china, silver and glassware complete the redesign.



La Veranda — with both indoor and al fresco seating — replaced Portofino’s restaurant. New furniture, carpeting and draperies create an elegant ambiance. Food stations have been redesigned and enhanced for guests to enjoy lavish breakfast and lunch buffets. In the evening diners select from a menu of regionally themed specialties. 



A New Pool Grill features a hot and cold buffet, panini sandwich station and coffee and dessert area in addition to a state-of-the-art barbecue grill. The Pool Bar, at the other end of the pool deck, was expanded and enhanced with a new ice cream station, equipped with machines for milkshakes and frappes. 



Star’s Lounge received a masterful makeover. A ruby-red carpet running the length of the entryway sets the stage for this glamorous club with furnishings that exude a classic Hollywood elegance. 



Galileo’s Lounge sports bold new interiors, window coverings and a sleek new bar area. An outdoor lounge has been added with stylish sofas and chaises overlooking the sea.



Navigator Lounge features rich hues of cappuccino, camel and navy accented by apple-green. The card room and library were redecorated and all public spaces throughout the ship were refreshed. 



Canyon Ranch SpaClub — a former health club and an observation lounge have been transformed into the ship’s new Canyon Ranch SpaClub. The serene and stylish wellness center has body and skin-care, massage and thalassotherapy treatment rooms, including a couples’ suite. Added is an aerobics studio and new gymnasium with cardio and strength-training machines, both affording forward-facing, panoramic ocean views. Locker rooms, including his and hers sauna and steam rooms, have been updated as has the full-service beauty salon, which features new wood cabinetry and granite accents. A juice bar and relaxation lounge are additional SpaClub amenities.

The ship operates seven- to 11-night cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America this winter, followed by a summer series of seven-night Alaska cruises between Vancouver and Anchorage. Upon completion of the Alaska season, the ship embarks on a 96-night Grand Asia Pacific cruise.

Regent offers all-inclusive packages featuring two-for-one cruise fares, complimentary airfare, free unlimited shore excursions, complimentary onboard liquor, and gratuities are included in the cruise fare.

Regent’s three elegantly appointed, all-suite ships operate seven- to 119-night voyages to more than 300 destinations worldwide.

On the Web: rssc.com

Follow the Dawn Princess’ makeover online

dawn-princess-drydock

Following the response to its unprecedented online Golden Princess Drydock Journal last month, Princess Cruises is again inviting cruise enthusiasts to go behind the scenes as Dawn Princess undergoes a similar makeover. Visitors to princess.com will be able to watch daily as the ship receives new interior furnishings and finishes, plus adds two Princess signature features — the Movies Under the Stars giant poolside screen and the relaxing adults-only Sanctuary. Continue reading “Follow the Dawn Princess’ makeover online”